Monday night out and a 3-hour meeting starting at 8am don't mix.
Hit 13 for the first time in months (lost track but it's at least six) and had an...ah, interesting night. Always good to see Maureen who kept my glass so full that I actually had to pace myself for once. Early morning meeting and all. Sad that the thing I miss most from there is the 13inis.
The vibe for the show was a bit off with a light and low-energy crowd, weird considering it was the last qualifying slam of the season. (The glow, she has officially worn off, methinks.) With a disproportionate amount of Acentos regulars "on staff" and on the open mic and Nuyoricans dominating the slam that was actually short one poet, there were surprisingly few familiar 13 faces in the mix.
Halfway through the first round of the slam, I remembered its appeal. By the end, I was bored as hell.
Talked shop with some people I hadn't seen in a while, did some promoting for louder than words, even read in the open mic at Eric's behest. Snagged Luis Cartagena for Saturday's show completing the opening showcase lineup that will go from poetry to performance and set the stage for at least part of the debate to follow. Eric and I barely got a chance to talk, though.
Had an interesting conversation with a girl whose name continues to escape me - Angela? - a recent transplant from LA on her first visit to 13, a casual fan of poetry shows. She made a point about the sameness of the topics and delivery at the few slams she'd been to, which I loved hearing from someone that wasn't a jaded old-timer. We talked about the problems with poets re: the slam and at one point she asked, "What are you going to do to change it?" I had to pause and give that one some thought for a minute before answering.
"I spent a good 2-3 years trying to change it. To be honest, I'm done with it. It's a stagnant format that's great for beginners but it's not somewhere to set up camp. I'm more interested in what's next."
What IS next?
That's one of the things I'm going to throw on the table Saturday.
TONIGHT: Acentos. First Anniversary show! Be there, or hate yourself in the morning.